Dirk: LeBron and Dwyane were being 'childish'

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on June 11, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 12 at 9:14 AM

The Dallas Mavericks are poised to make team history — just one win away from their first-ever NBA championship.

Dallas leads the best-of-seven series with the Miami Heat by a 3-2 margin.

The Mavericks would certainly like to wrap up the title in Game 6 on Sunday night, much like Miami did against Dallas in 2006 — but it won't be easy.

Dallas does not want Miami to pick up any momentum and send the series to a decisive Game 7.

And if you weren't a big fan of the Miami Heat before this series began, you're going to dislike them even more after this: Miami stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were apparently mocking the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki by coughing and making fun of Dirk's fever and sinus infection in Game 4.

Their actions appeared to suggest that Nowitzki was faking his illness and pretending to cough and wheeze, while joking about the Texas heat.

"First of all, it wasn't 'fake' coughing; I actually did cough, and with the cameras being right there, you know, we made a joke out of it, because we knew you guys was gonna blow it up," Wade explained to reporters on Saturday.

"Well, I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant," Nowitzki said. "I've been in this league for 13 years; I've never faked an injury or an illness before."

"We never said Dirk's name," Wade said. "He's not the only one in the world that can get sick or have a cough, so we just had fun with the cameras being right in our face."

Nowitzki attempted to put the episode in his rear-view mirror. "This is the NBA Finals. If you need an extra motivation, you have a problem," he said.

Playing with that illness in Game 4 the other night only added to Nowitzki's growing reputation.

LeBron James has managed 11 points so far in the fourth quarters of finals games for Miami. Heat forward Udonis Haslem says Game 6 will be "the toughest of our lives."

Meanwhile, the Mavs say they will take a Game 7 approach into Game 6. Coach Rick Carlisle says "there's nobody in our locker room" who is looking at their situation as having two chances to win one game — they want it now.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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